What to do if you were in an accident with injuriesand it was not your fault?

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What to do if you were in an accident with injuriesand it was not your fault?

I was making a T-turn when a motorcycle behind me speed up and tried to bypass me from the left via the opposite lane. The middle line was solid on my direction and dash on the other side, which was why I assumed he couldn’t pass me at first. The bike hit the front of the car and the biker fell off and was injured. I got a citation for an improper U-turn; not sure about the condition of the guy yet. Should I re-contact the police officer about the guy trying to pass me in the wrong lane? What to do can help me with this situation now? We both have insurance and I gave a statement to insurance.

Asked on September 27, 2011 under Accident Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This is a case where other than giving your insurer a precautionary heads up, if appropriate (see below), you need to do nothing about the other person's injuries or property damage until and unless sued or at least contacted for a claim. That is because if the other party or their insurer never seeks money from you, you will owe nothing (and if they do contact you for a claim or suit, your insurer will defend, at least up to the policy limits).

You should check your policy--most require that if you know about a *potential* claim, you give them notice, and in this case, since there was an accident involving your car, there is a potential claim and you therefore probably owe your insurer notice and heads up.

As to the citation: definitely don't ignore it--you have to show up for the court date, unless it's resolved earler (e.g. by paying any fine). You can pay it; you can fight it, if you think the evidence is that you did not make an illegal u-turn; or you can try to get it negotiated to a lesser or different violation, maybe one with less "points" associated with it. You may wish to contact and discuss the matter with an attorney who handles traffic violations and tickets.


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